Diverse and Inclusive Workplace – 7 Ways to Get There

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For decades, the issues of diversity, racism, and inclusion have been under discussion. This has resulted in various changes and programs for creating a diverse and inclusive workplace. However, there is still a significant gap in the hiring, recruiting, and retention processes.

One of the most important characteristics of a successful leader is the ability to attract a diverse team. You have the authority to begin making changes within the organization. Therefore, you can contribute to a more productive, safe, creative, and inclusive workplace.

Here are seven ways to create a diverse and inclusive workplace:


1. Recognize and Respect Cultural Differences

In today’s world, the workforce is made up of people of many faiths, cultures, races, and countries. Therefore, it is critical to be mindful of cultural differences when working together. This is true for both written and verbal communication.

People from different cultures use different words to describe the same idea while communicating verbally. For example, the saying “the company’s cash cow,” may not be easily comprehended by someone from a different cultural background.

Similarly, there are challenges while working with remote teams and setting task deadlines. For instance, people from different parts of the world may agree to deadlines even if they think they are unreasonable. This is due, largely, to a cultural divide.

Some people are unwilling to express questions or challenge timelines. Therefore, it’s helpful to restate your point and ask the other person to summarize their understanding of the dialogue. Then be sure to ask if they have any questions or concerns.

This modest extra step goes a long way toward preventing difficulties in the future.

Additionally, when composing papers and emails, persons from different locations frequently use different terms and phrases. This can increase the chances of misinterpretation of the content. Furthermore, when trying to organize meetings or set deadlines, not specifying time zones can cause a lot of uncertainty.

Therefore, when working in a diverse workplace, be conscious of cultural differences. Instead of forming assumptions or judgments when you see or hear something strange, ask for clarification. In addition, allow time for people to adjust to various cultures within your team.


2. Engage in Mindful Text Conversations

Teams today employ many collaboration platforms. Text discussions are the preferred way of communication because they are faster and easier for teams to use. However, we must be aware of what we type and of the emojis we use.

In addition, being sensitive to the quotes and photos we post is vital to maintaining a respectful environment. Ultimately, all the language we use must be respectful. This is true both in individual and group text discussions.


3. Recruit With a Diverse Workforce in Mind

Diverse teams are more innovative and profitable, according to research. People from many cultures have a variety of experiences and perspectives. Furthermore, as they collaborate they can find innovative solutions to challenges.

This does not imply that you should concentrate your recruiting efforts on a single factor. However, it does mean that you should be aware of your current team’s makeup and recruit accordingly.


4. Hold Regular D&I Training

Include D&I training in your onboarding process and do so regularly. This will educate your staff on what is appropriate when it comes to actions and words in the workplace. Further, it helps them know how to act and communicate with individuals from various cultures.

Keep in mind that common sense is not the same as common knowledge.


5. Encourage Open Dialogue

If there is no open dialogue, diverse teams cannot function. Members of a team must be able to communicate with different people without fear of offending someone or being reprimanded. This is where you, as a leader, can help to bring about positive change. 

You can create channels for teams to have open, nonjudgmental talks by organizing regular team-building activities. In addition, take the time to get to know your teammates on a personal level. Take it a step further by holding a fun session in which team members highlight intriguing aspects of their culture.

Finally, hold retrospective meetings with the team and make sure that you encourage open communication. Always create a safe environment for your team to vent their frustrations or concerns. This is most beneficial to the team’s morale.


6. Celebrate Holidays in Your Workplace

A diverse workforce creates an opportunity for a diverse celebration of holidays. Make a list of distinct cultural holidays that your team members observe. As a team, respectfully commemorate as many of them as you can.

This is one way to boost team morale, provide cultural context, and foster team cohesiveness. It also encourages an enjoyable and secure working environment for all of your employees, regardless of their background.


7. Own Your Mistakes and Do Better

You will make mistakes as a leader. You might say or do something inconsiderate that negatively impacts some of your team members. Instead of defending your conduct in these situations, own up to your faults, learn from them, and move on.

Members of your team will notice this and gain higher respect and appreciation for you as a result. These circumstances also show them that you care about them as a person. Acknowledging their concerns will make them feel more included and give them a sense of belonging.

In addition, these practices will help you in becoming the leader that everyone wants to follow. We become a wiser, more inclusive, and better organization when we listen to and celebrate everyone’s differences.


Image Credit: Fauxels; Pexels; Thank you!

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